'An HIV test would've avoided case against Assange': Daily Mail | world | Hindustan Times
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'An HIV test would've avoided case against Assange': Daily Mail

world Updated: Dec 19, 2010 20:29 IST

IANS
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Two women who claim to be victims of sexual assault by WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange, would not have complained to the police if he had agreed to take an HIV test, a media report said on Sunday. “The two women told me, that if he goes to the clinic for an HIV test, then we won't go to the police,” WikiLeaks's Swedish coordinator, who worked closely with Assange for months, told the Daily Mail in an exclusive interview.

Requesting anonymity he said that he repeatedly begged his boss to have the test, both to head off the possible police probe and for Assange's own peace of mind, given his promiscuous sex life. He wishes to remain anonymous because he is a witness in the case brought by Swedish prosecutors, which led to Assange spending nine days in Wandsworth Prison in Britain, pending extradition.

“I became the middleman in these negotiations," he added. “I felt that if Julian had agreed to have the HIV test, they would have dropped it. I told him, 'Just do it, and anyway, it's good for you, because you're sleeping around'”.

“A lot of women were extremely attracted to Julian, and after a few minutes, they offered themselves to him. From my perspective, they were like groupies with Mick Jagger, and he takes these opportunities.”

The WikiLeaks coordinator said he felt certain that the two women - who both allege that Assange forced them to have intercourse during the same week in August without using a condom, against their express wishes - had nothing to do with any 'supposed' US intelligence plot to discredit him, as he has frequently claimed.

“The CIA is not behind this at all,” he said. “Of course it is a golden opportunity for them. But from the beginning, it was personal.”

He said Assange refused to take the test until it was too late, when all the Swedish clinics had closed for the weekend: “Julian said, 'I don't like it when people are blackmailing me, and they are blackmailing me by threatening to go to the police'.” Assange also told him that he had spoken to one of the alleged victims, known as 'Ms W', assuring him that “she is fine, she won't go to the police”.

The WikiLeaks coordinator knew from his own conversations with Ms W that she was not fine at all, but terrified that she had been infected.

Assange's British lawyer, Mark Stephens, said his client had taken a test for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases at a later date, which proved that he was not infected. “If it is true that all the women really wanted was for him to be tested, and that this would have stopped the case, then it is very disappointing that it has got so far," he said.

Daily Mail's investigation also reveals that in the same week that Assange had sex with Ms A and Ms W, he ended the relationship between a well known American reporter and his girlfriend by blatantly attempting to seduce her during a dinner at a Stockholm restaurant. Having left the restaurant hand in hand with Assange, the woman did not spend the night at the hotel where she had been sharing a bed with the American.

WikiLeaks last month launched the publication of over 250,000 secret cables from the US State Department.

Assange was released earlier this week on a 240,000 pound bail.